After seven years in exile, Gloucester City are finally coming home.\r\n\r\nThe Tigers’ plans for a new stadium at Meadow Park were given the thumbs up by Gloucester City Council’s Planning Committee on Tuesday evening, finally giving the club a light at the end of a long tunnel.\r\n\r\nAt a packed meeting which was brimming beyond capacity, meaning supporters had to stand outside, the green light was given.\r\n\r\nClub chairman Mike Dunstan made an impassioned five-minute plea to allow the club to come home after 2,629 days, 194 ‘home’ games and nearing 6,000 miles in travelling to home games.\r\n\r\nDunstan, who has been in the position since May, mentioned the club’s burgeoning community programme which includes 100’s of boys and girls in the youth development and Futsal schemes.\r\n\r\nChairman Dunstan and Jeremy Chamberlayne, a local flood risk campaigner spoke, and the plans were then discussed by the committee, but the councillors unanimously agreed that they were behind the development.\r\n\r\nOne councillor agreed that the ‘progress of the proposal has been unbearably cruel on the supporters of Gloucester City Football Club’.\r\n\r\nAt 6.54pm, the moment of truth came, as the club’s plans were finally approved, leading to a long and sustained round of applause.\r\n\r\nThe 4,000 capacity stadium will also see the land raised by four metres to prevent against flooding in the future.\r\n\r\nCouncillors were shown how this new structure would affect the local area in a one in a hundred year flood, which had been deemed suitable by the Environmental Agency.\r\n\r\nThe other major concern had been access to the stadium via the Sudmeadow Road, but once again, a positive report from the Highways Agency meant the Tigers had the ball thoroughly in their court heading in.\r\n\r\nThe club haven’t placed an expected timeframe on the stadium build, but it comes as a relief to the Tigers’ long suffering supporters.\r\n\r\nSince the floods in 2007, the club has groundshared at Forest Green Rovers’ New Lawn Stadium, Cirencester Town’s Corinium Stadium and, for the last four seasons, Cheltenham Town’s Whaddon Road.\r\n\r\nIn the immediate aftermath, the club’s social media was bombarded with congratulatory messages.\r\n\r\nLeague rivals Hyde, Worcester City, Brackley Town, Stalybridge Celtic, Bath City as well as other local sporting clubs such as Hardwicke and Cinderford Town all expressed their joy at the club’s welcoming news.\r\n\r\nGloucester Rugby expressed their happiness via Twitter: “Congrats to all supporters, staff and officials of @GCAFCofficial! Great news for the City as a whole. #BroughtTigersHome”\r\n\r\nWelcoming the news, City chairman Mike Dunstan said: “We were confident that we had done the work and the unanimous agreement gives us great confidence going forward.\r\n\r\n”It will spring the club into life again and give everyone the boost they need, because it’s been a long wait and many of us are tired.\r\n\r\n”It’s not about saying it’s job done, it’s only just beginning.”\r\n\r\nManager Tim Harris was over the moon with the news: “This means everything to me, and this means everything to Gloucester City.”\r\n\r\nWe’ll have more reaction coming soon.\r\n\r\nYou can view the plans for the new stadium below.\r\n\r\nGCFC – Illustrative Elevations\r\n\r\nGCFC – Site Layout Plan\r\n\r\n
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